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A Very Scotch Affair
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ISBN:
9781904598442
Categories
Classic Fiction, Fiction
Imprint
Polygon
Publication Date
31 July 2005
Format
Paperback
Status
Available for Sale
Publisher
Birlinn Limited
Extent
198

A Very Scotch Affair

by Robin Jenkins - Find out more about the author

'Worthy of the greatest respect throughout the English-language world’ – Paul Binding, Guardian

‘Let me alert everyone to the best-kept secret in modern British literature ... if you are interested in books that are humane and wise, not slick and cynical; then treat yourself this year to some Robin Jenkins’ – Andrew Marr

‘Many people can produce a novel, but very few are authentic writers whose sentences and paragraphs give intrinsic pleasure. Jenkins is one of them’ – J. B. Pick

‘Jenkins [is] a remarkable writer whose gentlest touch induces the greatest of pleasures’ – The Times

A Very Scotch Affair is set in Glasgow and tells the tale of Mungo Niven, a man who possesses a fiercely Scotch conscience and who feels trapped in a drab and unfulfilling existence. Mungo’s wife is the extroverted and excessively cheerful Bess, too busy cracking jokes or playing whist to give her husband’s misery any sympathy, as well as dismissing his vague intellectual, imaginative and amorous ambitions as pointless dreams. Mungo finds himself bound to her not so much by love and loyalty as by the many trivial commonplaces of married life. When Bess is stricken by cancer, Mungo sees an opportunity for him to escape both his loveless marriage and his tyrannical conscience.

As Mungo seizes this chance, his actions have far-reaching effects which he had never imagined; his eldest son follows his father’s example into betrayal and abandons his pregnant girlfriend; his eighteen-year-old daughter becomes emotionally numb to the situation; his younger son, just twelve-years-old, develops an intense hatred towards his father and turns his back on the family, moving away to live with relatives. Mungo is left looking at the pieces of his broken family

The complex themes of betrayal and conscience are explored by Jenkins with precision and with a delightfully wicked sense of humour.

John Robin Jenkins was born in 1912, one of four children, in the village of Flemington, near Cambuslang. He studied English at the University of Glasgow. When World War II broke out, he registered as a conscientious objector and was directed to work for the Forestry Commission; he used this experience in the acclaimed novel, The Cone Gatherers. In 1957, he moved abroad to work in Spain, Afghanistan and Malaysia. In 1968, he settled in Dunoon where he remained for the rest of his life. In 2002 he received the Saltire Society’s Award for Lifetime Achievement. He died in 2005.






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